Kings Draft Andre Drummond: In A Cruel World

HARTFORD, CT - DECEMBER 3: Andre Drummond #12 of the Connecticut Huskies heads for the basket against Marvell Waithe #22 of the Arkansas Razorbacks in the first half on December 3, 2011 at the XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Things take a turn for the bleak.

On draft day, the rumors begin. "The Kings have made a trade". Most believe it involves the 5th pick. That turns out to be the case as the Kings end up trading the 5th pick and Marcus Thornton to Portland for the 6th pick and Wesley Matthews. At first many fans aren't too upset at the trade, but then when the draft begins, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist somehow falls to the 5th spot and Portland greedily snatches him up. Now the fans are furious. "Petrie's done it again!". Fans are similarly unenthusiastic about the 6th selection, Andre Drummond. Drummond is an enigma, an unfinished sculpture from the finest slab of marble. Unfortunately, Michelangelo is not on the Kings payroll.

Drummond falls flat in his Summer League debut as well, looking completely lost and getting manhandled by lesser bigs, including a couple of undrafted guys. As if matters couldn't get any worse, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist puts on a clinic at the VSL and Kings are left wondering what might have been.

Summer league is but the first snowball of the greater avalanche. When the season begins, Drummond finds himself as the 5th big man off the bench, behind even Hassan Whiteside. He sees only a few minutes at a time and usually only during garbage time. The worries about Drummond appear to have been founded in fact, that he was all flash and no substance.

As a tiny consolation prize, Matthews plays well as the Kings new shooting guard, but unfortunately not as well as Marcus Thornton in Portland, as he shows the Pacific Northwest just exactly why he's called "Buckets". Drummond earns the derisive nickname "No Buckets" from Kings fans, a jape that's made even crueler when Drummond fails to score a basket in a D-League game for the Reno Bighorns in which he started.

The season proves to be a disaster for the Kings and for Drummond, and the team ends up trading him for a second round pick during the offseason a la Hasheem Thabeet. Drummond lands on the Spurs who cultivate him and take the time to groom him. He eventually becomes a quality starting Center in the NBA, while the Kings remain mired in mediocrity, barely out of rock bottom thanks to DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas. Unfortunately, that's a trap in and of itself. The fans and city finally have enough of the losing, terrible management and just general awfulness of ownership and in the end the Maloofs file for relocation and get it, thus ending the Kings 27 year reign in Sacramento.

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